Nogales, Ariz. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists at the Mariposa Port recently took possession of what appears to be the tanned hide of a large wild cat.
Officials initially referred a motorhome for further agricultural inspection after initial questioning Monday. During the course of their inspection, specialists found what appeared to be the pelt of a large spotted cat. The owner told the specialists he was given the skin by a friend in Mexico. Agriculture specialists detained the skin on behalf of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Fish and Wildlife inspectors arrived Tuesday and determined the pelt is likely that of a large ocelot; a species threatened with extinction and protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. The pelt was turned over to USF&WS for final disposition while an on-going investigation continues.
CBP agriculture specialists have extensive training and experience in the biological sciences and agricultural inspection. On a typical day, they inspect tens of thousands of international passengers and cargo, and seize prohibited meat, plant materials, animal products and insect pests.
To learn more about CBP Agriculture Specialists, please visit the website.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.